Tax Alerts
Tax Briefing(s)

There is good news to offer in the form of an enhanced child tax credit.  Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the child tax credit has doubled, increased the refundable portion, and expanded its scope to include dependents other than qualified children.  In addition, the TCJA broadened the pool of taxpayers eligible for the credit by significantly increasing adjusted-gross-income (AGI) phaseout ranges.  The following is an overview of the eligibility requirements and other changes to the child tax credit effective for tax years 2018 through 2025:


As you go about your daily life conducting business online, hackers are in the wings waiting to pounce and exploit one innocent miss-click, mistake or mismanagement of company data. Turning a blind eye or being in denial of the realities of cybercrime and data breaches can destroy your company’s brand and reputation. You must continually work toward protecting your business from cybercrime and you must monitor your systems and process 24/7 without fail.


In general, the new tax Act provides for stricter limits on the deductibility of business meals and entertainment expenses. Under the Act entertainment expenses incurred or paid after December 31, 2017 are nondeductible unless they fall under specific exceptions. One of those exceptions is for “expenses for recreation, social, or similar activities primarily for the benefit of the taxpayer’s employees, other than highly compensated employees.” (i.e. office holiday parties are still deductible). Business meals provided for the convenience of the employer are now only 50% deductible whereas before the Act they were fully deductible. Barring further action by Congress those meals will be nondeductible after 2025.


The 2018 dollar limit on the maximum permissible allocation under a defined contribution plan is $55,000. The maximum amount of annual compensation that may be taken into account on behalf of any participant under a qualified defined contribution plan is $275,000.

The 2018 limit on the maximum amount of elective contributions that a person may make in to a §401(k) plan, a §403(b) tax-sheltered annuity or a §457(b) eligible deferred compensation is $18,500. The limit on "catch-up contributions" for persons age 50 and older is $6,000.

The 2018 dollar limit on the maximum annual benefit under a defined benefit plan is $220,000.


As the school year ends, summer vacation offers parents and students alike the opportunity to focus on what may be their most considered subject: PAYING FOR COLLEGE. Many families commit unforced errors in their efforts to save and pay for hefty tuition bills.

Among the traps people fall into are:

  • Obsessing about school choice;
  • Thinking it isn’t worth it to apply for aid or scholarships; and
  • Not considering “529” college-savings plans.

States have become quicker to declare assets “abandoned” when account owners lose touch with a financial institution.  Although state laws vary, assets may be determined abandoned if the account owner has not made contact with the institution for three to five years.  These accounts consist of refunds, bank accounts, insurance proceeds and recovered goods, including cash, stock, bonds and other items that may belong to you. 


IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has asked companies to report patterns of fraud and for tax preparation firms to team up to fight return fraud.  Criminals are using stolen identities to claim refunds.


The Washingtonian has recognized Dalbert B. Ginsberg as one of the Washington Metropolitan area top Tax Accountants based on a survey of financial professionals and research conducted by the magazine.



Charles P. "Chuck" Rettig was confirmed as the new IRS Commissioner on September 12. The Senate confirmed the nomination by a 64-to-33 vote. Rettig received both Democratic and Republican support.


New IRS guidance aiming to curb certain state and local tax (SALT) deduction cap "workarounds" is the latest "hot topic" tax debate on Capitol Hill. The IRS released proposed amendments to regulations, REG-112176-18, on August 23. The proposed rules would prevent taxpayers, effective August 27, 2018, from using certain charitable contributions to work around the new cap on SALT deductions.


The IRS has proposed to remove the Code Sec. 385 documentation regulations provided in Reg. §1.385-2. Although the proposed removal of the documentation rules will apply as of the date the proposed regulations are published as final in the Federal Register, taxpayers can rely on the proposed regulations until the final regulations are published.


Last year’s Tax Reform created a new 20-percent deduction of qualified business income for passthrough entities, subject to certain limitations. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97) created the new Code Sec. 199A passthrough deduction for noncorporate taxpayers, effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. However, the provision was enacted only temporarily through 2025. The controversial deduction has remained a buzzing topic of debate among lawmakers, tax policy experts, and stakeholders. In addition to its impermanence, the new passthrough deduction’s ambiguous statutory language has created many questions for taxpayers and practitioners.


Wolters Kluwer recently spoke with Joshua Wu, member, Clark Hill PLC, about the tax implications of the new Code Sec. 199A passthrough deduction and its recently-released proposed regulations, REG-107892-18. That exchange included a discussion of the impact that the new law and IRS guidance, both present and future, may have on taxpayers and tax practitioners.


Wolters Kluwer has projected annual inflation-adjusted amounts for tax year 2019. The projected amounts include 2019 tax brackets, the standard deduction, and alternative minimum tax amounts, among others. The projected amounts are based on Consumer Price Index figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor on September 12, 2018.